Best apps for motorists

User guides Ben Griffin 10:06, 13 Mar 2012

We take a look at the best apps for those of you who spend a lot of time on the road

Many of us wish there were more hours in the day. Sadly, we'll have to make do with 24 of them unless we adopt the 36 hour system from the Men in Black films.

Our only option, then, is to make more use of the hours we have, and this includes when driving. Obviously, you won't be able to write emails while or finish your art homework - even though Jeremy Clarkson did demonstrate you can sew on button while driving - but there are a number of apps that can make your time in the car better spent, more enjoyable or simply more efficient.

Auto Trader - iOS, Android
It seems like an odd place to start, considering Auto Trader only helps you buy and sell cars, but a new car could save you time and money, get you to work more quickly (not that British roads really make this feasible for many people) and improve your mood.

That Vauxhall Vectra currently sat on your drive might be 'practical' but is it fun? Probably not. You only live once - you may as well get something that will give you a smile every time you drive and the Auto Trader app is a great way to scout out your new set of wheels.


CoPilot Live Premium - iOS, Android
We still keep an A to Z in the car for emergencies but most of the time modern-day technology like CoPilot Live Premium can get us from place to another.

Unlike most SatNav applications, CoPilot Live Premium comes with the ability to drag your route around a traffic jam or via a point-of-interest. It also calculates multiple routes so you can either take the scenic route or avoid motorways, for instance.


Vlingo - iOS, Android
Even though we live in a health and safety-obsessed society, sometimes it gets things right. We're not going to argue that typing on your phone when driving means you aren't going to see if little Timmy runs out into the road and stop in time.

Fortunately, Vlingo means you can dictate text messages, search the web, find that nearest petrol station or dial a number with your voice, so you can keep your eyes where they should be - on the road.

Accuracy will vary, depending on how much of an accent you have, but it's definitely worth a try.


Take Me To My Car - iPhone/iPod Touch
For an object that weighs a ton or so, it's incredibly easy to lose a car, which is why Take Me To My Car is a stroke of genius. You simply let it know when you are near your car (for example, when you've just parked) and when it comes to returning to your vehicle, just follow the map and directions to find it again.

Take Me To My Car does require you to have 3G network, so underground car parks, multistoreys and the most rural areas need not apply, but for everything else it should have you reunited with your ride in no time. Unless it's been towed away, of course.


TuneIn Radio - Android, iOS, Windows Phone
Radio might be struggling in the face of video games, big screen televisions and the internet, but in the car it's still the daddy.

Unfortunately, digital radio tuners haven't been standardised, which means means you might be stuck with whatever Galaxy 101 has changed its name to this time.

That is, until you download TuneIn Radio, a free app that doesn't just have radio stations from your area or country, it has whatever it can find globally. This means you can choose from over 50,000 radio stations.

There are also a lot of on-demand programs to choose from - 1.2million to be precise - and a new Car Mode so you can either control the app with enlargened buttons on-screen or with your voice.


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